For those out there who do not know what the Duanwu Festival is, search giants Baidu and Google will have further confounded the unwary with their doodles celebrating the Dumpling Festival. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China celebrate national holidays today.
The Duanwu Festival, sometimes called the Dragon Boat Festival, is most often associated with dumplings (Zongzi) because consuming them is the best way to celebrate for so many millions. Ironically, or even sadly, people in Singapore enjoy the festival too, only there is no official holiday there, so people have to get off work to fully enjoy the events.
Beside eating dumplings together, people in the path of the festival can take part in wonderful dragon boat races, and many other activities.
As far as legend has it the festival came about when in ancient China (475 BC to 221 BC) a patriot and poet, one Qu Yuan, jumped in the Milo River in protest of injustice. On learning of his plight, fishermen tried to save the heroe’s body from being consumed by demons, so they beat drums and gongs, while throwing rice into the river as offerings to the demons. And now the occasion is marked on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.
This year the festival starts today, and for those traveling to Singapore, China, and Taiwan, many fun and exciting events have been scheduled. As for the Google and Baidu doodles – well, you can find them on the world’s most popular search engines’ landings.